Propagating Pothos Plants: Everything You Need To Know


Pothos, or Devil’s Ivy, is an evergreen tropical plant that has a clump of glossy green leaves and heart-shaped yellow flowers. It is a popular house plant that can grow to be quite large.

In order to propagate a pothos, you will need some basic supplies and know-how for each step of the process.

The guide below will teach you how to propagate pothos plants in your home or garden so that you can enjoy their beauty for many years to come.

Are Pothos Plants Easy to Propagate?

Pothos plants are the perfect plants for beginners. They’re very easy to propagate and care for, which is great because you won’t have any trouble getting them started at home. These plants thrive in a variety of environments, but proper care is essential for a healthy plant.

How to Propagate a Pothos Plant?

Many people have trouble propagating pothos. You can easily propagate the plant by following a few simple steps below:

1. Remove the Pothos Cuttings

To remove the cuttings from the pothos, start by cleaning the shears or scissors and making sure they are sharp.

Choose a healthy stem to take a cutting from, and remove part of the stem that is a minimum of four inches long, right below a leaf node.

Remove the bottom sets of leaves from the stem to increase the surface area, then cut at a 45° angle to increase surface area.

Take at least three or four full leaves when cutting the plant, and split it into two sections if it’s long enough.

Root the cuttings in water or soil according to your preference.

2. Root the Pothos Cuttings

To root the cuttings of a pothos plant, dig a hole in the soil using your finger. Place the cutting in the hole and add a rooting hormone. Cover the cutting with potting soil and gently pat it down to make sure the cutting is in good contact with the soil.

Pothos Propagation in Water

Start by filling a glass with room-temperature water. Then, to the water, add your pothos cuttings. Before you use the water to grow more pothos plants, boil it first. Tap water may contain chemicals that are bad for plants.

Keep an eye on your cuttings as they grow roots in water, and transplant them when they are ready.

You can easily propagate pothos plants in decorative glasses. If you want the best results, use water that is not ice cold but warm or room temperature.

Also, make sure that no leaves are submerged under the water and that the stems are resting on the side of the glass. Substitute the water every few days or whenever it appears cloudy.

Finally, position the glass in bright, indirect sunlight. During cold weather, avoid planting near windows because they may hinder development.

Pothos Propagation in Soil

You will need a pot and soil mix, potting soil, and cuttings. Plant cuttings around the edge of the pot with the bottom half of the stem buried in soil.

Make sure there are plenty of drainage holes to prevent rotting. Before inserting cuttings into the soil, you should dip them in a rooting hormone.

Water the pot thoroughly and keep the soil moist by misting every couple of days.

Wait for new growth before you transplant the plant into its new pot.

3. Transplanting the Cuttings

Wait until the roots are at least an inch long before transplanting the cuttings. Then, transplant the cuttings into soil, taking care to cover any gaps around the stems with additional soil mixture.

Gently press the soil down around the cuttings to keep them in place, and water them well. For the first several months, as the plant adjusts to its new home, be sure to keep the soil moist.

When Is the Best Time to Propagate Pothos?

The best time for propagating pothos is in the spring, summer, or early fall as it can’t survive cold weather. Propagating in the early spring or late fall can cause harm if you don’t know what you’re doing. You should propagate at least twice a year for maximum efficiency.

How Long Does It Take to Propagate Pothos?

A pothos takes about 2–6 weeks to propagate. You’ll need to cut it and plant it in water. The cut should be kept in water and exposed to sunlight for adequate light exposure. After 2–6 weeks, the plant will root and you can transplant it into the soil.

Why Isn’t My Propagated Pothos Growing?

The propagated pothos may not be growing because it has been overwatered, the roots are in too much water, or there is a lack of light.

Here are 12 common reasons your propagated pothos are not growing:

1. Wrong Placement of Stem Cuttings

There are several reasons why propagated pothos might not be growing.

You can cut the stem in the wrong place. None of the nodes from which new roots could grow were left behind.

Another possibility is that the cutting may have leaves at the top but no nodes at the bottom, preventing roots from developing.

Finally, if there are no stems below a cutting suspended above water, no roots will form.

2. Lack of Water

If you’re not watering your propagated pothos enough, the lack of water could be why it’s not growing.

Make sure to change the water every 7–14 days and water the pothos cuttings every 5-8 days. Also, keep an eye on the water level in your pot so that the roots don’t dry out.

3. Too Much Water

If you notice that your pothos are wilting or the leaves are yellowing, this may be a sign that you are watering them too often.

Too much water can lead to root death, so it’s important to only water when the top few inches of soil are dry.

4. You Didn’t Change the Water

These plants need fresh water to grow properly. If the water is not changed regularly, the plant will not be able to get the nutrients it needs and will eventually die.

5. You Took a Cutting from an Old or Damaged Vine

It is best to take a cutting from a pothos from a healthy, vigorous vine. If the stem is old or damaged, the plant will have difficulty developing roots and may not be successful.

Therefore, when trying to propagate a new pothos, it is important to start with a healthy cutting.

6. Not Enough Warmth

If you’re propagating pothos in a cold room or during winter, expect slow growth or no growth. To create warmth for your pothos, place it in the warmest room of the house or use a heating mat.

7. Lack of Light

Pothos plants need sunlight for photosynthesis, which is essential for the plant’s growth. Without enough light, the plant will not develop roots or take long to do so.

To provide enough light for a pothos, place it in a bright spot where it will receive indirect sunlight throughout the day.

8. Excessive Fertilizer

When your propagated pothos isn’t growing, it’s likely due to a lack of nutrients. Be sure to provide them with nutrient-rich soil and water. They need well-drained soil to grow quickly and will only grow slowly in water if the water doesn’t have the necessary nutrients.

With patience, your pothos should begin to grow.

9. Too Much Fertilizer

Pothos is a popular houseplant that can be propagated by making baby plants. You will need to provide the plant with water and fertilizer, but it is not picky about these things. Too much fertilizer can actually harm the plant and prevent it from growing.

10. Pests

If you change the water you use to grow your pothos cuttings too often or if it looks dirty, it could slow the growth of your cuttings or bring in pests and diseases. Every few days, or if the water starts to look dirty, change it out to keep your cuttings healthy.

11. Late Transplantation

If you transplant pothos too late in the season, the roots may not have enough time to develop properly, and the plant may be unable to adapt to life in the soil. The roots need to be at least an inch or two long before transplanting.

In addition, transplanting too late can cause shock.

To help the roots gradually acclimatize to their new surroundings, add a teaspoon of coconut coir or perlite to the soil every day until the glass is full.

12. They Need More Time

Pothos need time to propagate. It may take four weeks for the roots to grow and reach the transplantation stage. If growth is not visible after a month, there may be another problem.

The main reason why pothos need time to propagate is that they need to form a good root system before they can be transplanted. A good root system is important for the plant to be able to absorb nutrients and water from the soil, so it can grow properly.

Pothos Propagation FAQs

Can I Propagate Pothos Without Leaves?

Pothos plants can be propagated from stem cuttings, even if the plant has few leaves. As long as there is at least one node attached to the stem, propagation will eventually be successful. However, without leaves, propagation will take longer.

To propagate a pothos without leaves, ensure that the node always has access to water by propping up the stem in a glass of water.

Can I Propagate from Just a Leaf?

Propagating plants from just a leaf is very difficult. To propagate pothos from just a leaf, place the leaf in water or moist soil. The leaves will produce roots, and new plants can be grown from the roots.

Can I Propagate Pothos Without a Node?

You can propagate pothos plants without a node. If the plant is vigorous enough, then it will send out roots from nodes on its own. You will need to water the plants regularly, fertilize them when necessary, and prune them as necessary.

Can I Grow Propagate Pothos in Water?

Pothos can grow in water. However, they will grow faster if planted in soil. It is important to keep pothos watered and humid, as well as provide nutrients with nutrient-rich soil. Pothos take a long time to grow, so be patient!

Can I Propagate Pothos in Soil?

To propagate pothos in soil, you’ll need to start with a cutting that has several leaves. Cut off the bottom leaves and plant the nodes in the soil. Pothos can be propagated with peat moss, perlite, or vermiculite. Rooting hormone solution (if used) is optional.

It’s important to maintain a moist but not drenched soil.

With a bit of patience and care, your pothos will soon take root and grow into a healthy plant.

Can I Propagate Pothos in Sphagnum Moss?

Start by soaking the moss in water for 20–30 minutes. Then, take stem cuttings from the mother plant with at least 3-4 nodes. Use sterilized pruning shears or scissors to take the stem cuttings and remove the bottom leaves from the pothos before adding them to the moss.

Make sure the moss is moist but not soaked when adding the pothos cuttings. Add a small amount of sphagnum moss to a glass or plastic container or vase and place the cuttings in it.

The cuttings should be covered with moss, and the leaves at the top should sit above the moss. The roots will grow slowly at first, so it is important that the moss stays moist throughout this period.

Once the roots are 2-3 inches long, you can plant them in the soil. When you first put them in the soil, give them plenty of water and bright, indirect light.

Keep the soil evenly moist for the first few weeks to help them acclimate to their new environment.

Where to Cut to Propagate Pothos?

Propagate Pothos by cutting a new stem every few inches. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle and then remove the bottom leaves. Place it in water with about 2 inches of soil over it to keep the pot moist.

When it comes to propagating pothos, you’ll need to first decide how large you want the plant to grow. Once you’ve determined the size of the plant, you can begin cutting back the excess growth.

For smaller plants, cut back to the third or fourth node from the tip of the plant. Larger plants can be divided in half at the base, then cut back to the ground.

Can I Propagate Pothos from just a Stem?

Pothos can be propagated from just a stem. To do so, first cut off the bottom of the pot, and then root the plant in fresh soil. If you want to propagate pothos from just a stem, put it in water.

In general, though, propagating pothos from a stem may be possible, but it will likely require some specialized care and attention.

Can I Propagate Pothos in a Fish Tank?

Fill the tank with an inch of water and place the pothos plants inside. Keep the water at room temperature and add fresh water as needed to keep the plants moist. When they are large enough to handle, use a net to transfer the young plants to their own pots.

Remove any dead or diseased plants from the tank and replace them every two or three years as needed. Pothos needs bright light but indirect exposure to sunlight in order to thrive.

However, propagating Pothos in a fish tank is not recommended as it can be harmful to the fish.

Can I Propagate Pothos in Winter?

Pothos plants can be propagated in the winter, but it may take a bit longer to see results. The best time to propagate pothos is in the warmer months when temperatures are more consistent. Therefore, propagating in winter is not recommended.

Should I Propagate Pothos in Soil or Water?

Whether to propagate pothos in soil or water is a personal preference. Here are the pros and cons of propagating pothos in soil or water.

  • Water is the fastest method and very hands-off: the easiest and quickest way to spread pothos is through water propagation, but this can lead to rot and severe transition shock.
  • Soil requires a bit more attention: soil propagation requires some attention but leads to hardier starts.

Why do you cut leaves in half when propagating?

One of the reasons for cutting leaves in half when propagating pothos is to avoid overcrowding the plant. Overcrowding can cause the leaves to weaken and die. Another reason for cutting leaves in half is to ensure that each stem has at least a few top leaves.

These top leaves are necessary for healthy propagation.

The lower leaves of a pothos cutting should be taken off to show a few inches of stem.

Final Thoughts

Pothos is easy to propagate if you have a little patience and the right conditions. In just a few weeks, you can have new plants to add to your collection. With this guide, you’ll be able to do it with no problems at all.